Nigeria Opens Bidding Round for 57 Marginal Oil Fields Amidst COVID-19

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SWITZERLAND, JUNE 02 – The federal government has opened the bidding round for 2020 marginal oil field licences amidst escalating COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

This was revealed in a document issued by the Department of Petroleum Resources(DPR), inviting interested companies to bid and seen by Today’s Echo’s correspondent.

“The Department of Petroleum Resources(DPR), on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, is pleased to announce the commencement of 2020 Marginal Field Bid Round exercise. The Bid Round exercise is open to indigenous companies and investors interested in participating in Exploration and Production (E&P) business in Nigeria.

“A total of fifty-seven (57) fields located on Land, Swamp and Shallow offshore terrains are on offer

“The exercise which will be conducted electronically, will include Expression of Interest/Registration, Pre-qualification, Technical and Commercial bid submission and bid evaluation,” part of the document reads.

The Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) defines marginal fields as, “ fields whose economics is not considered robust enough using conventional development methods under the prevailing fiscal regime” Most of the marginal fields in Nigeria were discovered by major International Oil Companies (IOCs) in Nigeria in the course of exploring larger acreages.

Marginal Fields in Nigeria evolved from the Petroleum Amendment Act 1996, which introduced paragraph 16A into the First Schedule to the Petroleum Act.

The Marginal Fields programme was introduced to encourage indigenous participation in the oil industry and also to increase government’s take on undeveloped acreages. The programme was developed to discourage continuous holding of undeveloped fields by International Oil Companies (IOCs). Thus, the creation of marginal fields was to reduce the rates of abandonment of depleting fields and assure the Government’s take in acreages that would otherwise have become unproductive.

Today’s Echo gathers that the last bidding rounds for marginal oil fields was under president Jonathan in 2014, and was not completed.

Experts are still debating whether this is the right time to open the bidding rounds with the number of COVID-19 cases in the country trending towards 10,000.

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